Max Verstappen is predicting the Spanish Grand Prix to act as “a defining moment of the season” for Red Bull with the expected upgrade war set to take place.

The Red Bull driver will be eager to end a run of frustrating races having been involved in high profile clashes with three different drivers at the past three races including a nightmare crash with teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

All Formula 1 teams are lining up a bulk of updates at the Circuit de Catalunya and with the first genuine opportunity to complete comparative running at the Spanish GP venue which also hosted pre-season testing.

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While Verstappen predicts all teams to bring updates which may mask relative performance gains, he feels if Red Bull can make the biggest jump forward it can be a “defining moment” in the team’s F1 world championship ambitions.

“Everybody has done a lot of laps in Barcelona but I’m looking forward to seeing how the cars progress this year,” Verstappen said. “We have many updates coming, hopefully they will be positive and we can be even closer to the front, but of course everybody else will also bring new parts.

“It could be quite a defining moment for the season and I’m interested to see how everyone will perform. I believe our car is very fast, we still need a bit more top speed but hopefully that will come.”

Renault is set to bring an engine upgrade through its fuel supplier BP/Castrol but Red Bull will be unable to take up the update due to its fuel deal with ExxonMobil.

Red Bull’s 2018 F1 title ambitions already look under threat after suffering its second double DNF of the season in Baku with the Milton Keynes-based squad trailing F1 world constructors’ championship leaders Ferrari by 49 points after just four races.

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